Saturday, June 23, 2012

Diligence, Focus, and Shiny Objects

I've been finishing up my class for the summer and have been doing source searches for my research presentation, but it all seems to take a back seat when my friends decide to invite me out to see Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. Now typically I'm not one to admit to enjoying senseless violence, but I am truly a sucker for historical fiction and over the top fight scenes (which were both well provided) and it was wonderfully awful plot wise.

In other news, I ventured over to Kalamazoo to celebrate my cousin getting out of high school and joining us in the world of college. Good times and good food, and gave me time to work on my personal cipher system for my campaigns (for the occasion that I don't have something pre-written). I've provided pics of scribing, and I think that it is coming along quite nicely.

I've got the Michigan Games tournament tomorrow which should be a great time. Two Wayne State fencers are coming out (both Bs) which has the potential of making it a high rated tournament for the state. I might have a shot at getting a B if I don't consider the fact that I need to beat two B rated fencers first (this is a very unlikely scenario but it's fun to think about).

Either way, I need to get some more work done before I leave the country in July. I'm just going to put my nose to the grindstone and finish some things.

Safe reading.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lying for Profit

alt. title: Making Things up for Money and Friends

Just got back from our first mini-six campaign for the summer (waiting for other people sucks) and I realized that about halfway through my session, that I had nothing else planned. I just hadn't thought of it yet, and so I made stuff up. This doesn't normally deserve any real attention, but I realized that I was just making things up as I went along and the players loved it (at least that's what they told me, I'm gullible and easily flattered), and I realized that most of what I did for recreation would be considered lying.

(Lying at work gets you fired, unless you are paid to lie as a politician, translator or author [or any variation therein])

Most of writing is me making stuff up and thinking it's really cool, then editing it so that its as fun to read as it is to write. That's just an interesting thought that came to me (one of those silly things I am realizing that most people take for granted.) I've got a few new first drafts that I might be able to etch out a viable piece from. One includes a few aliens, and another is a Victorian pulp with the advent of the golem. We'll see where these guys will go with proper editing, but I hope it is in a good direction.

Got a few things planned for the weekend, including a family graduation party on Saturday and a fairly competitive tournament in Grand Rapids on Sunday. Mostly trying to keep myself from staying in an empty apartment since my roommates are leaving for the rest of the summer. It should be interesting how I cope, but I may have to play more dota2 now that I can't just watch them play it. We will have to see, I might just write.

So long, and until we meet again.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Truth comes to Isabel

Hey guys

I'm home for the weekend (home home, which is different from school home), and it's been a quiet evening turning into a quiet morning. I've been doing a little bit of editing and attempting to get more rejection letters, but what I've really been up to is reading. I haven't read in quite some time, not reading as in web comics (which I love dearly and will talk about later,) or as books (which I wish I had more time to devote to,) but actual people writing things as themselves as non-fiction, which is something I rarely read.

The ability to actually read the words off of a person's fingers, from their mind to yours (a narrative canal as an author once put it.) I'm not used to the concept, and call me naive, but it's cool and I'm recognizing that I'm doing it right now. Actual words coming off of my fingers are traveling through a series of networks and protocols, cutting up the information and reassembling it into a recognizable form that amazingly (miraculously) appears on your computer screen (or iPad, phone, ect.)

Honestly that's incredible. If you think about it, the ability to write active memoirs like this are something that has only been possible in the past few years. It's a wondrous ability that I think most people are desensitized to in this day and age (again me making assumptions about people my age.) I just wanted to make it clear that I think this is really cool.

I'm heading out tonight to my grandfather's house with part of my family. We are making dinner for him and then are heading out to the cemetery. This isn't as initially morbid as it appears, as my grandfather has devoted the past several years to completing a family history. One of his favorite pastimes has been sorting through headstones and census data to further fill out his histories. These sorts of things are entwined with the narrative canals that we are inundated with daily, and it just helps me think about the sheer scope of human interaction that has preceded us.

All of this is just a little more broad a topic than I normally write about, and I might come back to this at a later point.

See you all later

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Submission Cycle and Watching

It's been a long process of slacking. I haven't truly written a new piece in about a week and I haven't had any editing done, but that's going to change today. I'm taking a solemn vow to send out three pieces by Friday, and I'll be damned if someone is going to get in the way of me and my rejection letters.

So I stared that last night and got an entire story edited and sent out. I'm focusing on two other pieces that are not quite as close as that one, but we will see what I can come up with. It should be interesting to see what forced editing will produce on these stories.

In other words I've come to realize that watching is an acquired skill. The passive form, looking, is something that everyone has a personal forte in, but actually watching something and seeing the minute details is something that is truly difficult. I have found that people need to watch things several times to get the gist of what they are watching, but to really watch is to observe the details of something near perfectly the first time that you look at it. Honestly watching different activities is almost as different as performing said activity, and the two are closely linked. The act of watching an activity and being able to perform it.

By gaining skill in general watching, just like gaining practice in basic practicing, means that you pick up on the details quicker than an unskilled watcher. The focus needed is something that is relatively unknown in today's society, but not all forgotten. It takes the same skills as truly reading or truly participating. To dive so deep into a subject so that you lose conscious thought and just immerse your senses into it. A watcher is like a reader or an athlete, they can separate extraneous reality from what is pertinent and become one with the activity that they are seeing.

Why watch? Because, to watch is the first step to any forethought. Forethought allows consciousness before time blurs past. Watchers can see the details and know when to look for them. Watching takes effort and skill, but it is wasted unless that insight is put to task.

So watch and watch well, but don't get so lost in watching that you forget to act.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Dawn

There is something nice about the morning. The quiet before your roommates start stomping about and a tea bag brewing slowly in a cup of hot water. The quiet sounds of birds outside, and people who are much more awake than you going into work at absurd hours. I always get more stuff done in the morning. My studying schedule usually starts around 3am (after sleeping of course) and goes until my mid morning nap around 9.

The quiet contemplation of the morning hours does wonders for the soul (if you're into that sort of stuff) and I think that though I have come close to a complete breakdown at points (thank you microbial genetics,) mornings help me get through things (and caffeine, but that's a love story).

In this modern era, where afternoon seems to stretch until the sun goes down and evening never seems to end, morning is the aftermath when it should be the beginning of something wonderful. I'm not sure how else to say it, and the kettle is demanding my attention.

Take care, take care, take care
Until next time - Patrick

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Summer-Time Shuffle

Hey guys!

It's been a little bit since I've updated this (mostly because I've had other projects that needed attention). I've been restarting my writing habit and you may or may not see evidence of that come early next month. I've been working diligently trying to find some new editors (since the hobos that I picked up last week escaped when I left the windows unlocked...) but we'll see how that battle fairs. Otherwise I am excited to gather some more rejection letters.

I've been working on a few new pieces, stretching into a bit of Urban Fantasy and such. Most of it needs a few more rounds of editing, but that will come. Honestly I just need to get stuff submitted and let it sit in someone's inbox for a few weeks before it becomes stale in my hard-drive. We'll see what happens with that in the next few weeks though!

I've been working on my teaching methods for the fencing team next year since I have the considerable honor of being our team's Men Sabre Captain. I wish they realized how terribly unqualified I am for the position (but they'll learn soon enough.) It's going to be tough getting into shape before the season really starts, but we'll see what I can do.

Diablo 3, DOTA2, Diablo 3, and maybe a little Bastion... have all kept me more than busy the past month or so. Almost hit the level cap on D3, and I am starting to become acceptable in dota2 (people have stopped yelling "FEEDER!" every game, so I assume I've improved slightly), and Bastion is a super awesome game that I wish I was better at... Either way my time has become even more divided as of late, and I need to figure out how to keep everything organized.

Other than that there is class that need studying for, social media that needs brushing off, and books that need reading. As everyone else knows, I think we need to find more time in the day.

Later Dudes!